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Futile Faith

Here’s a letter that I sent today to the Washington Post:

Dana Milbank rightly ridicules “Progressive” Americans who mistook Barack Obama for being a messiah (“Obama the mortal,” Dec. 6).  But don’t be too hard on these gullible folk.  For years, their intellectual superstars (including some of your own columnists) insisted that reorganizing society for the better is rather easy with the right people in power.  But….

The “Progressive” mindset ignores modern-society’s extraordinary complexity.  It’s oblivious to the full, vast range of inescapable trade-offs and unintended consequences unleashed by human actions.  Convinced that the only forces keeping earth from moving closer to paradise are the mean, stupid, and greedy people who always seem to have disproportionate power, “Progressives” have a fetish for Great Leaders promising dramatically to smite the backward bullies and then lead humankind to salvation.

How disappointed these faithful congregants must be when their messiah is exposed as a mortal, delaying still further the fulfillment of their fantasies.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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